A judge declined to shutdown Facebook Group Buyer Beware in a case in which Jackson Njeru is fighting for his freedom.
In the case, lawyer Cecil Miller in Civil Case No. 111 Of 2016 wants Jackson Njeru jailed for six months as well as the Judges orders him to shut down the group, in what he argues is its misuse by Njeru and others to comment on an issue that the court had barred him from publishing.
The court had on 14th of June 2016, convicted Jackson and his co-accused Jacqueline Achieng for contempt of court after they “intentionally disobeyed the court orders restraining them from posting on the Facebook or any other social media platform, commenting, writing or producing any platform for comments by the general public about the plaintiff (Miller)”, the ruling reads..
But on the same date, Jackson posted on Buyer Beware;
“I don’t know why the court didn’t produce the people who wrote the contempt. This is the path I chose and as they say Choices have consequences na jela haikujengewa wanyama.”
After the post, people commented on it and in one of them, a member of the group asks who the presiding Judge was and Jackson replies as Justice Msagha Mbogholi.
In the ruling delivered on 20th of December, 2017, Justice Lucy Njuguna finds Jackson Njeru guilty of contempt of court. Her ruling is based on the gagging orders made against him and Jacqueline from commenting on the case online affirming that they were clear and unambiguous and were binding to them, Jackson had knowledge of or proper notice of the terms of the order, he had acted in breach of the terms of the order and his conduct was deliberate.
Even as the Judge found Njeru guilty, she did not however give the specifics of the period of conviction only giving direction that the matter will be mentioned in a month’s time for mitigation and sentencing. However, there have been conversations between Jackson Njeru and Cecil Miller with a view to resolving their disputes out of court.
Find the ruling here